You already pay for public school with your taxes and now that charter schools are around, you have variety of choice, right? So, why send your children to a private school like The Renaissance Preparatory Academy (TRPA) or even consider doing so? People have a variety of reasons. I will be sharing a series of reasons why offered by others and how we meet their needs here at The Renaissance Preparatory Academy. Check out these 3 reasons and see if any of them resonate with you!
Parents are very satisfied with private schools (BETTER EDUCATION & BETTER PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE). The Council for American Private Education has a full brochure addressing reasons why private education is valuable to parents. The goals for private schools is often academic excellence and safety of students and, indeed, in 2016, 46 percent of private school parents (32 for charter school parents and 23 for public school parents) were very satisfied with teacher quality (see graph which links to full article). 75% private school parents were very satisfied with their schools (see the above brochure). Private schools include independent, parochial and religious schools. An independent school is one that is non-profit, and maintains fiscal independence from tax or church monies.
The Renaissance Preparatory Academy is an independent school that has an advanced curriculum. One of the unique attributes of our school is our reading program. The program we use, The Writing Road to Reading, often results in 3rd graders who can read at 5th grade level or higher! The continued refinement in elementary grades with the SRA developmental program, works on reading speed along with reading comprehension. Our goal is to enable all of our graduates be ready for Advanced Placement in high school, eager and capable of excellence in college, having acquired the intangible skills needed for entrepreneurial/small business/professional success!
Small class sizes of private schools nourish Kindergarten through Primary grade students’ development of best learning habits. (BETTER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT & SMALLER CLASS SIZES) Mary Polychornas, school psychologist for 20 years in Canada, “thinks the critical years for the best-quality learning environment start in Kindergarten and continue through primary school. “I find those years are crucial. This is when children are developing their learning styles and learning habits. Private schools offer small classes that can nourish these young learners,: she says. “those good , appropriate learning habits are easier to learn in a smaller setting.” (http://www.ourkids.net/school/psychologists-viewpoint)
Class sizes range from 9 to 15 students and we have four multi-grade classrooms at The Renaissance Preparatory Academy. Our PrePrimary includes Kindergarten and 1st grades (beginning readers). Our Primary class refines the reading skills of those in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. We may have multiple PrePrimary and Primary classes but all will be multi-aged and graded. This type of a classroom allows for the natural development and integration of social skills. There is time for teacher-guided education, time for individual self-directed education, and time for collaborative learning applying that education. The combination of our educational philosophy and curriculum, the numbers of students, and their range of age results in a great learning environment for students!
Private schools’ emphasis on teaching and learning results in excelling students and practical support for parents (INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION FOR CHILD & LOW STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO) . Jane Murray, (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/jul/23/why-send-child-to-private-school) from the UK, had scoffed at private school education and referred to it as an elitist choice. This changed in 2012 when as a working parent she was faced with either finding multiple places for her child throughout the day or enrolling in a private prep school that had programs from 8am to 6pm and even some holiday care all of which was missing from her local public school offerings. She finds it practical for her and wonderful for her daughter. She found that her child flourished in the small class sizes and the close welcoming culture of the small school (the whole school was smaller than her child’s age group at the local public elementary). She found that her daughter was excelling beyond expectations for her age. She’s kept her child in the private school environment. She comments, “while each one has a slightly different feel, underpinning that are always strong discipline, high standards and a healthy sense of competition... resources are directed where they are needed most --- at teaching and learning.”
Children have a customized learning engagement and advancement program (LEAP) plan that they follow as the teacher gives small group instruction. This combination of self-directed learning and teacher-guided learning (4 to 5 students:1 teacher) results in children who excel! Yet, along with this learning orientation, we have a strong honor code so that students learn to shape their actions to match their code of behavior. Self-discipline with respect to character and academics is reinforced here!
In general, these are some very traditional reasons to choose a private school over a public school or its public alternative. We'll hear more about specific needs of parents and children and why The Renaissance Preparatory Academy might be the right educational environment for your family tomorrow!
Janice Black, Ed. Sp., Ph. D.
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